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Daniel B 02-26-2019 08:34 PM

Grand Canyon
 
We are planning a late May trip to the Grand Canyon and looking for advise on good places to camp and of course the places we should also avoid. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

jimiller5 02-26-2019 09:38 PM

Mather Campground is located in the park. You'll need reservations.

Raspy 02-26-2019 09:45 PM

You don't say North or South Rim.

I made reservations a month ago for the North Rim in late May and it was filling up as I watched. I think the North Rim opens May 21 IIRC.

South Rim, just get anything you can. I think the trailer size is listed at 22' max. Get on the reservation site now and see if you can find a spot. It's not the campsite, it's the unbelievable view and educational experience. You'll still have to drive to the overlook area and the visitor center.

Free entry and 1/2 price camping with a senior card. I think we paid $9. per night. We had no hookups, but water was available at faucets.

Gerry 02-27-2019 04:38 AM

We also are planning a trip out to the Grand Canyon, this summer, and we plan to stay where we can, Boondocking if need be, no reservations, and travel to the many different National Parks in the Area.
Think I won't have too much trouble with the Casita FD but maybe our travel mates will in there 31ft motor home may.
He doesn't seem concerned so why should I be.
I know some of you will say..."You should be" but I'm a "live in the spur of the moment" type of guy and usually make out OK.

Al and Cindy K 02-27-2019 08:39 AM

Reservations within the Park for May will likely be hard to come by but, if you're planning to visit the North Rim, there are lots of other options (and we prefer that side anyway). There are numerous camping opportunities in the adjoining Kaibab National Forest. Jacob Lake and DeMotte are two developed nearby USFS campgrounds and there are unlimited dispersed sites off AZ67 and 89A. Stop at the Visitor Center located at the intersection of these two roads for maps and suggestions for boondocking sites.

If you're coming in through Page, I'd suggest spending a night or two at the Glen Canyon NRA Lee's Ferry campground. Its an awesome setting and Condors can often be seen early morning perched under Navajo Bridge. Take a tour of the dam and, if you have time, the all day boat trip to Rainbow Bridge NM is well worth it.

thrifty bill 02-27-2019 09:30 AM

If you camp on the fly then you miss one of the best parts of a National Park: camping inside the park!!

I’ll take my chances along the way but not at prime destinations. On our trip last year we made reservations at Denali and Yellowstone on the way back. Imagine predicting what day you will arrive at Yellowstone when you are already 9,000 miles into your trip. But it worked out fine!

My “trick” is to have a couple of slack days built in. I ended up ahead of schedule so spent a few extra days in WA state.

At the GC, camping inside the park is so handy. On the south rim, the shuttle bus runs right past the campground. So you don’t have to drive anywhere.

I used to take pride in never making reservations. I finally realized I missed out on some great camping, particularly in popular areas with limited camping like almost all NPs. Oh yeah, and with a senior pass NP camping is incredibly cheap. Best deal in camping.

Daniel B 03-01-2019 08:21 PM

Mather campground
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimiller5 (Post 734354)
Mather Campground is located in the park. You'll need reservations.

Does this campground have electrical hookup? Somewhere I saw it written there were no hookups but there was a dump station.

Daniel B 03-01-2019 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel B (Post 734578)
Does this campground have electrical hookup? Somewhere I saw it written there were no hookups but there was a dump station.

Just found my answer, non electric. Thanks everybody!

gordon2 03-01-2019 08:29 PM

Mather Campground is a large facility with 327 campsites. Each site includes a campfire ring with a cooking grate, picnic table, parking space and room for up to three tents. There are flush toilets and drinking water spigots throughout the campground. There are no hookups available but there is a free dump station near by at Camper Services.

Trailer Village, located next to Mather Campground, has hookups and can accommodate larger RVs. Almost all of the RV spaces are pull-through. Generators are NOT permitted in Pine Loop (sites 265-319).


Source: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232490

slowpat 03-02-2019 10:06 AM

There is also a campground where the spontaneous way of life is supported.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/poi/258825

Raspy 03-02-2019 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpat (Post 734611)
There is also a campground where the spontaneous way of life is supported.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/poi/258825


Thanks for that link.

slowpat 03-02-2019 12:06 PM

If you can, hike down into the canyon as far as you can comfortably hike back up out of. It offers another perspective, and there are or were in 2006, a couple of shelters with potties and water part way down the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails--the two main drags down into the canyon on the south side.

jimiller5 03-02-2019 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpat (Post 734637)
If you can, hike down into the canyon as far as you can comfortably hike back up out of. It offers another perspective, and there are or were in 2006, a couple of shelters with potties and water part way down the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails--the two main drags down into the canyon on the south side.

Just remember, hiking down is optional. Hiking back up isn't.

Peder_y2k 03-06-2019 12:14 PM

Canyon Camp
 
We camped behind the Red Lake 76 Convenience Store just north of Williams on Hwy 64. Not a splendid site, but was good for an overnight and space was available, then we toured the South Rim and went on from there. Don't recall if there were hookups, but we don't use them for our Mity-Lite.

DavenBecky 03-06-2019 01:04 PM

We’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone too in May and are looking at routes and camping options. Lots of great information here.

We intend to camp with no hookups but need to use a small generator for a short time each day to recharge the battery. I haven’t found info on restrictions for using gas generators. Has anyone had an issue?

Pete Hein 03-06-2019 01:19 PM

Williams is a quaint kind of town. We stayed there (hotel) and took the GC Railway up to the South Rim.

If you're staying on the South side of the Canyon, there are a couple of other sites worth visiting. Bill Williams Mountain is about 4 miles South of Williams, and is about 9200' high - high enough that a sea-coaster like me could really feel the lack of oxygen. The "road" up is rough and twisty - good for a 4WD/AWD vehicle with good ground clearance. No good for a trailer. And watch out for hikers, there are hiking trails that intersect the "road". There's some sort of electronic facility - a relay station, maybe ? - up on the peak. When we were there it seems to have been breeding season for ladybugs, because every bush was absolutely covered with them.

Another place recommended by a local was Sycamore Canyon, which we were told is second in size only to the GC itself. It's an easy drive, mostly graded and forest roads. We were there during the rut for elk, and could hear them bugling Unfortunately that's also elk hunting season, so Blaze Orange is in order.

No matter where and when you go out there, give yourself an extra day or two at the start, to acclimate to the reduced partial pressure of oxygen. (Unless you live in Denver, or Lima.)

Jon Vermilye 03-06-2019 01:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpat (Post 734611)
There is also a campground where the spontaneous way of life is supported.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/poi/258825

I stayed at Desert View (the linked campground) in mid May, 2011. Snow & below freezing. The place where I learned how the tank switchover indicator works on a dual tank system in my brand new Escape 17 - I ran out both tanks, expecting more of a red indication on the readout. A 30 mile drive on snow covered roads to get 2 tanks of propane @ $4.75 per gallon.

I really felt for the couple sleeping under a tarp stretched between two motorcycles next door, but once I had heat (and a working refrigerator) it was a beautiful location a short walk to the canyon edge.

slowpat 03-06-2019 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimiller5 (Post 734641)
Just remember, hiking down is optional. Hiking back up isn't.

But it wasn't as nasty as I had feared. The two main trails on the south side are wide. The hard part climbing back out was all the "steps" that are part of the trail. I have short legs and some seemed pretty high. We backpacked with hiking poles. The poles are quite nice for using kinda like crutches, because everybody, except those who live and work in the canyon, gets sore from hiking down and down and down...There is a distinct hobble amongst the people at Phantom Ranch. We also pushed hard to get down as my hiking friends are not morning people and we got a late start and had made reservations for dinner at Phantom Ranch. It was the first week of March so was still cool. In fact, it snowed while we were there.

I checked into a motel afterwards, requesting a room on the first floor. The desk clerk not only did that, but I got a handicap accessible room. The soreness went away after a few days. Mind you, I'd trained by hiking trails in our mountains for this, but all that downhill is hard on the legs.


I'd like to go back and look at stuff on the top. Both previous trips have been hiking in the canyon with no time to look at the attractions at the top.

Franknank 03-06-2019 05:28 PM

Grand Canyon campgrounds
 
Jacobs Lake on the north side and 10 X on the south side. Both National Forest campgrounds. Note: There is no lake at Jacobs Lake Campground.

Raspy 03-06-2019 06:27 PM

[QUOTE=slowpat;735091) I'd like to go back and look at stuff on the top. Both previous trips have been hiking in the canyon with no time to look at the attractions at the top.[/QUOTE]

The visitor center at the top is a fascinating place and should not be missed. To fully grasp how the many canyon layers formed, the upheaval that disturbed them, the various seas at various temperatures that caused the differences in the layers, how the geological picture was developed including the missing layers and the lowest solid rock that the river is now cutting through. All very interesting. Then as you head south toward Flagstaff and somewhat lower elevations, picture the ground below in the same layered configuration as the canyon. Without the canyon, we'd never know.

The Valley of the Gods is all part of the same formation, it seems. But instead of looking down into a canyon, your looking up at tall layered formations from a flat desert floor. These "harder" formations gradually emerge as the cliff erodes away over millions of years, leaving giants standing miles away from where the cliff is now.

Then, if you want to stretch your imagination a bit further, visit the Bristlecone Pine forest where trees 4,000 years and older, are growing in a dolomite soil, complete with fossils, at 10,000 ft elevation. Trees that began life about the time the pyramids were being built, growing in an ancient sea bottom, formed millions of years before the Sierra Nevada rose to the elevation it is today. By aligning and counting tree rings from the living trees, dead but standing trees, and dead trees on the ground, they can reach back nearly 12,000 years to learn about the conditions there over time. That record even provided a correction factor for the carbon dating system by comparing carbon dating with actual counted tree rings.

Finally, tours of Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams are a real treat for those who appreciate giant civil engineering feats. Especially Hoover. It has now become kind of a circus, but when you look past that aspect, it is mind blowing.

The Southwest is a fascinating area full of geological wonders related to plate tectonics. The record of its development is right there to reach down and pick up. When you visit, time seems to be standing still, but it's only on our scale of measurement. A seemingly calm, dry and quiet place formed by violent water flow, subduction and volcanoes.


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